"No American woman, let her speak all the tongues, and play on all the instruments invented,
can be said to be educated, if she is not a good needle-woman."
-Catharine Maria Sedgwick

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Autumn approaches!

My apologies! I have been woefully derelict in my duties as blogger! Attribute it to summer! Too much time enjoying travel, the company of my younger daughter home from college, biking, walking, dodging the heat and humidity! But the stitching hasn't stopped! So there are LOTS of new releases to report. I will report them chronologically so you'll have to read to the end to find the newest designs. Here goes!

Leggy Swimmer and Leggy Ballplayer are Heart in Hand's summer releases in the Leggy series of charts. The swimmer, in particular, gives me a giggle with her nifty sunglasses, chic flip flops and eye-catching ensemble of brilliant suit, towel and cap. She is definitely dressed for action! Her ball-playing pal looks equally dashing in his athletic regalia! With his cap jauntily placed, he is sure to have a winning day!

Trilogy's newest series of designs is called Sneak Peek: Halloween. There are five smaller designs that are stitched within an outer border. Quick stitching! Great autumn colors! FUN! Look for other Sneak Peek designs coming later this year.

Going to the beach this summer? Nothing like a lazy late summer journey to the shore. This design brings back memories of trips my family made when I was growing up to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina. Randy and I have enjoyed taking our girls to Hilton Head in recent years. But we also loved Cannon Beach in Oregon with Haystack Rock! Hard to pick a favorite. What's yours? No matter what shore we were visiting, I always want a new piece to stitch while vacationing at the beach. This one is PERFECT! From the flip flops to the stylish sunglasses to the painstakingly built sandcastles, your trip can be memorialized in Secret Beach. The kit comes with chart, linen and embellishments.

Check it Out: Chicken is a fun new design from The Trilogy that is a great piece to hang in or near your kitchen. If the colors aren't just right for your kitchen, don't be afraid to change them up a bit and make it work with your decor.

Anxious to share the first in a new series of Heart in Hand Needleart designs called It's a Cinch! This series will be stitched on larger count fabrics. The first, Harvest Jack, is on 18 count linen. I used 6 strands of hand-dyed thread, but you can certainly use wool or pearl cottons if you prefer. The kit includes the chart, linen, and the colorful buttons. This is a great design for a beginner, or to take as you travel. I always want to stitch when I'm out and about but my middleaged eyes can't see 30 and 32 count linens without a magnifier. The solution: It's a Cinch! kits!

Fell in love with the Thoreau quotation featured on the new chart Pumpkin Solitude. Such a great sentiment if you are a pumpkin lover like me! It's a simple design, but I think it matches Thoreau's thought process. I don't know about you, but I'm daydreaming about pumpkin patches these days. I admit to being weary of the weather of summer 2010. I think we've endured more than enough heat and humidity for one season. Bring on the pumpkins!

The Leggy series of designs continues with a Pumpkinhead creature. Carrying his lantern in one hand and a bat-friend in the other, the Pumpkinhead is set for the season!

I truly am starting to look forward to autumn. I know I shouldn't be wishing away the last days of summer, but I've always liked the excitement of late August for school shopping, renewing school friendships, a new class schedule coming in the mail! Even though my girls have outgrown those days and are off in college, there's still a sense of anticipation in the air this time of year. New challenges are ahead with the change of seasons!

One of my challenges will be creating new designs to release in coming months. There are always many on the drawing board. Which ones to concentrate on? How about you? Is it time for a trip to your needlework shop for a new project? Time to search out a new needlework shop in a town a few miles away? Find a friend. Pack a lunch. Delight in touching the fabrics, exploring the new threads. Learn a new stitching technique. Find some new needlework to challenge you. As Bernice Johnson Reagon has said: “Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.”

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mid-April Already!

I have made several trips to Michigan to visit the girls as they have both had performances we wanted to attend. Elise was in two operas at the University of Michigan and Allison was in a Dance Repertory Concert at Michigan State. Great fun to see them in action and visit with other family and friends who also attended. This past weekend we were in Augusta, Kentucky, at the home of one of greater Cincinnati's favorite sons, Nick Clooney, for a reunion of the people I worked with in the 1980s at WKRC-TV. The last time I saw most of these friends was our reunion more than ten years ago. While time and distance have come between us, the friendships remain and the great love and respect I have for these people grows sweeter with the years. What a great blessing in my life to have worked with so many talented, imaginative people!

While the traveling has kept me busy, there has also been stitching to do! We just released three new products. Perhaps you have seen them in your needlework store. If not, go take a look soon!

Together is a great new design that you can personalize for a wedding or anniversary with initials of the loving pair. Or you can leave the initials off and just have a design with a sentiment that speaks volumes about your loved ones! The chart includes an alphabet for personalization.

Let Freedom Ring is the first in a new series of designs called Signs of the Times. Each design will feature a phrase (i.e. Let Freedom Ring) that speaks about the season at hand. The horizontal nature of this series will be great for an accessory in your seasonal displays. If you are like me you have an area in your home (mine is my foyer table) where I like to change the accessories to match the season. In the winter it's my collection of snowmen. In the middle of summer I like to do a red, white and blue display. Stitched items are always included along with other collectibles, flowers, candles, and/or antiques that speak to the season. I look forward to adding this new stitched design to my summer seasonal display!

Do you love purple? I have been so enamored with all the wonderful shades of purple that have appeared in clothing, in home decor, just everywhere! What is it about purple that if you add it to a room in the form of an eggplant pillow, or you wear a scarf in a lovely shade of aubergine, you get tons of compliments? Just a little bit goes a long way. There are some beautiful shades of purple in the hand-dyed threads we all use. So I just had to design something that we could use as JUST the right punch of trendy purple in our homes: Plum Cottage Sampler. There are three totally different shades of purple in the buttons included in the kit. And who wouldn't smile living in a plum-colored cottage?

The Trilogy designers have been very busy as well. We have discovered Skype is a phenomenal way for us to work together even though we are scattered around the country. It's helping us be quite productive! We are starting a new series very soon that I know you're going to love! I don't have any photographs yet but it's called Sneak Peek. So be on the lookout for it in May in your local needlework shop. It will definitely be worth the trip!

I must run as I am putting the finishing stitches in a couple of new summer leggy friends for our Leggy Line series. I get a giggle with every stitch. These designs are fun! Hope you are all enjoying spring's bounty!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Stitching!

Who knew how winter weary we really were? Do you find yourself almost gleeful with the sunshine and early spring warmth? What a breath of (literal) fresh air! I know cooler temperatures are on the horizon again but the warmth of the past week has me ever hopeful that spring will arrive again this year!

Besides the sunshine and warmer weather, I have lots of spring stitching to share with you! Heart in Hand has a couple of new offerings already in the shops: Leggy Leprechaun, and Wee One: Spring Day. The response to the first of our Leggy Line series, Leggy Snowman, has been great! I hope you'll like the Leprechaun too and consider stitching this series all in a row...Leggy companion next to Leggy confidant, chums all in a row! I don't know exactly how many Leggy pals there will be but if you get a nice long piece of fabric you can add on to your Leggy Line however many you want. If you have extra fabric left and you want to complete your row, just cut off the excess linen and use it for another project! I designed Spring Day some months ago, long before I became winter weary! But stitching it helped me feel spring was close! Just the therapy I needed! Is stitching therapy for you too?

The Trilogy has some great new spring stitching for 2010! I'm excited to share pictures with you. I love them all but my heart of heart's favorite is Reunion of Hearts. This design was born when Ruth, Elizabeth, Marsha and I were Skype conferencing (YIKES! Can you believe what technology allows these days?) and we were trying to come up with ways to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Trilogy this year. Marsha suggested we return to the topic of the first design we published under the Trilogy name, Grateful Hearts. "This time," she wondered, "could we call it Reunion of Hearts?" (We lovingly call Marsha "Pearl" because she sits quietly during many of our group conversations and then, all of a sudden she speaks a pearl of wisdom which solves whatever dilemma we have been discussing. I love the insight she offers our friendship!) Making it to ten years is so special for the four of us. When we were considering a partnership we were told by some friends in the industry that going into business together would likely destroy our friendship. So we made a pact that friendship was first and business would always come second. And here we are! And we are happy to tell you our friendship remains!

Easter Treat, Lucky Tree, and Plant Hope are three other new Trilogy designs being shipped to the needlework shops this week. I love the quotation in Plant Hope. And Earth Day will be here before we know it! Do you know we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010? Consider planting a tree to commemorate the day! Plant a little hope with the Trilogy this spring. Enjoy the warmth of early spring!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The big snow melt!

Greetings and salutations from the big snow melt! Here in southwest Ohio we have had a doozie of a February! The "snowiest on record" for Cincinnati and environs. We have had 21+ inches thus far with most of that coming within a ten day period. Now to those of you on the east coast, 21 inches probably sounds like a dusting after the year you've had, but it's been quite a bit for us. We've had a few days in the upper 30s now so the piles are beginning to recede....and it's getting me antsy for spring!

The first day of spring is just under a month away. Can't wait for the new tulips I planted to begin to peek out of the ground in my garden. I love tulips. Nothing like daffodils and tulips and sunshine to make you smile! Bring it on! Gardening is a passion of mine. I truly think it has to do with the artful playing of colors and textures. The annual joy of combining plants in my garden is much like the joy of choosing threads and fabrics for stitching. The creativity of both passions soothes my soul.

There are a couple of new Heart in Hand charts at the graphic artist this week. I hope they'll be in the shops within two weeks! The Trilogy released several new designs at the recent Nashville Market. I'm trying to get my hands on some photographs to post here soon. In the meantime, it's a great time to go in to your local shop because there are a lot of great new products available this month!

I'm sitting in the puddle of sunshine that's streaming in my kitchen windows today. Love to sit in the sun and work on new designs on my computer. I've got a red-white-and-blue patriotic one brewing as I write. Who doesn't feel patriotic with our Olympians doing so well? Weren't the ice dancers great last night?!? What a record breaking year this has been for the United States Olympic team!

Records in the Olympics! Record snowfall!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Beginnings!

New year, new decade, new blog! I've been wanting to start blogging for some time so the new year is my incentive to begin. I can't promise a regular schedule. I can only promise to keep you up to date on Heart in Hand Needleart and Trilogy designs in the pipeline and a bit about my personal life too.

The 2010 Collector's Heart has a double meaning. The familiar "key to my heart" phrase is one, but since we are beginning a new decade, we also hold the key to the coming ten years. What will we do with these days? How will we spend our time? I'm trying to be more earth-friendly - taking my own bags to the grocery, conserving energy, recycling more. I'm stitching a piece now with that philosophy in mind. Look for it later this spring. As Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." What change do you want to see?

If you are like me, the fresh start of a new year makes you want new beginnings in your life. "I'm going to stitch for at least 30 minutes every day!" or "I'm going to organize my stitching supplies so I can find everything more easily." or "I'm going to finish at least one design every month." Do you hear yourself in these words? I am purging closets, organizing my office, starting new designs. It feels great! While the skies are grey I am being productive. Not sure how long my vigor for clearing out the old will last, but for now I'm trying to take advantage!

I love designing for January and February! Snowmen and hearts! Winter and love! What's not to celebrate? There are several new heart designs about to be released. XOXO is a new Wee One chart. The 2010 Collector's Heart is ready to go out to the shops too. Ask your shop owner to hold one for you when they come in. And if you are a collector of this series, we have Collector's Heart kits still available for 2001-2009. The 1999 and 2000 Collector's Heart kits are sold out. And if you are like me, stitching hearts and snowmen is a year-round joy! No need to limit it to January and February!

I'm excited about a new series I've started stitching called the Leggy Line. Can you see the inspiration for this name? The Leggy Snowman is first up. Next comes a Leggy Leprechaun. Later in the year a Leggy Penguin. I'm still brainstorming other Leggy creations. They are great fun to stitch! You could stitch them all in a row right next to each other. Each one will be the same size and have a different patterned base. The combination, I think, will be colorful and whimsical. Hope you will agree!

Hard to believe but The Trilogy has been designing for 10 years now! One of my great blessings in life is my friendship with Ruth, Elizabeth and Marsha. Do you have friends who make you better? These friends make me better. They have strengthened my business acumen. They have bolstered my spirituality. They have made me a more thoughtful mother. They truly have blessed my life.

Our daughters, Elise and Allison, were home for the holidays. So happy to have them here, if only for a few weeks. They are back to their respective Michigan universities now and I'm missing them, but happy they are blossoming where they are!